Latest purported ‘iPhone Lite’ polycarbonate rear casings show different colors (with photo)

“A new collection of photos claiming to be back panels for Apple’s low-cost iPhone again show an array of colors, but this time with slightly different shades,” AppleInsider reports.

“The picture was posted on Wednesday by Sonny Dickson, showing a plastic iPhone back in white, red, green, yellow and blue,” AppleInsider reports. “The images only show the backs of the parts, not the sides where buttons or ports would be located.”

AppleInsider reports, “Well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities said in April that although the back panel of the new iPhone model is expected to be plastic, the casing will be slimmer than with most plastic smartphones. As a result, he said, Apple could face challenges in manufacturing the unique device.”

Purported low-cost iPhone's polycarbonate rear casings (image: Sonny Dickson)
Purported low-cost iPhone’s polycarbonate rear casings (image: Sonny Dickson)

Read more in the full article here.


  1. According to people at AppleInsider, if you adjust the pictures so that the background color is the SAME (the way it should be), the casings all have the same color as the original “leaked” images. They only look different because of the poor quality of the images.

  2. Internally (and with the display), my bet is that these “low-cost” iPhones (if real) are the existing iPhone 5, but with 8GB of storage. And with an A5 instead of an A6, IF swapping out the processor is reasonable easy from an engineering perspective.

    Any new iPhone that is considered a REAL iPhone needs to be able to run iOS 7 and the latest apps smoothly, with excellent user experience. So it would also have a 4-inch Retina display. Therefore, it may be the “lower-cost” option, but it won’t be “low-cost.” Unless you consider $400+ for a phone to be low cost.

  3. These look universally ugly, never a trait of Apple products.

    Apple makes their smallest, least expensive iPod with an aluminum unibody case. The case never fails. I’ve had Apple replace the plastic case on a MacBook. Plastic is not as durable as aluminum and the shell of an iPhone costs single digit dollars, at most. iSuppli doesn’t even lit is separately in their cost breakdown, it’s part of “Mechanical/Electromechanical”, meaning case, switches, connectors, sim tray with mechanism, etc. Why would they change to plastic? It would be senseless, also not a trait of Apple products.

    1. Change to plastic? Not a trait of Apple products? The iPhone 3 and 3GS had plastic cases. The iPhone 3GS was sold as new for something like three years, until just last year.

      I’m not say these particular images are real, but there would be nothing surprising to me if Apple created a plastic-encased 8GB A5 version of the current iPhone 5, to be sold as the “FREE with two-year contract” option of the next iPhone line-up. The iPhone 4S is next up for spot, but it has the old 3.5-inch screen (and even the low-end iPod touch has a 4-inch Retina display now), and it still has the old dock connector.

      1. You are correct in that Apple has used plastic in the past. They have never gone back from aluminum to plastic once a product has changed. I think there are production advantages with aluminum that aren’t there with plastic and the savings in parts cost with plastics, if any, are more than offset by post delivery service costs. We are talking pennies difference in parts cost, not dollars.

        1. Well, the original iPhone had an aluminum backside, with only the small antenna portion in plastic. THEN, probably to lower production cost, the iPhone 3 and 3GS went to ALL plastic.

          The MacBook (not Pro) went to an aluminum “unibody” design (like the MacBook Pro), but the final few generations of the MacBook design had white polycarbonate cases.

          Apple will do whatever makes sense at that time, and do it with high-quality products.

          1. I had forgotten about the brief foray of the MacBook into the aluminum case, but it was not the unibody configuration. It still had a removable battery, like the previous polycarbonate MacBooks. The next year MacBooks were offered with a unibody polycarbonate enclosure, while MacBook Pros got the aluminum unibody.

            Agreed. Apple will offer high quality products, aluminum or plastic.

        2. Actually they have – the original iPhone remember? It had an aluminum back (with only the lower part being plastic). Then the iPhone 3G and 3GS had plastic backs.

          1. You are correct, of course. I’d didn’t have an original iPhone, but my wife has a (2nd gen, I think) iPod touch with a polished aluminum back. The thing makes me crazy. All I want to do is polish it to get the fingerprints off.

            My whole point is that Apple has gone to the anodized unibody aluminum case for all of their products. They must like it for a reason and I think it is cost related.

  4. Of course they will be difficult to manufacture. Jony Ive would get bored making designs that were easy to manufature. It doesn’t matter if Apple can keep up with demand, or it the stock does well. He’s a genius. Tedious things like actually making his designs or determining if the level of complexity is necessary for any other reason that just a whim is not his department.

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